Upcoming Medicare Changes: A Guide to the Future
When you turn 60, it’s time to start planning for your first Medicare Calendar Year. In the United States, every person has a social security number that they use when applying for benefits from the government. You need this number before you can apply for Medicare and find out what kind of coverage is right for you.
You can apply for Medicare three months before you turn 65. The application process involves filling out a form and sending it to the Social Security Administration office in your area. Don’t worry if you don’t get everything perfect on this first try! They’ll send you another copy of the form with an explanation of what they want changed or added, and then after that it will take weeks for them to figure out whether you qualify and how much coverage is best suited for your needs. If at any time during the year leading up to when you are eligible for Medicare (at age 65) somebody makes decisions about providing care, specifically someone who has power of attorney over your healthcare decisions, make sure they know where important documents are kept so they can act in your best interests if they need to.
When you turn 65, the next step is enrolling with Medicare Parts A and B (medical insurance). You’ll do this online or by phone. If you choose to do it on the phone or in person, there are lots of places where you can go for help; some examples include hospitals, pharmacies, libraries & senior centers. Once enrolled with Part A , which covers hospitalization costs like staying overnight when admitted as an inpatient at a hospital or skilled nursing facility (but not custodial care), most people will automatically be enrolled with Part B too thanks to something called “automatic enrollment” – but make sure! This part provides outpatient services such as visits from doctors who don’t work at the hospital, lab work and medical supplies. You will be charged a premium even though you are automatically enrolled with it unless your income is low enough to qualify for “premium-free Part B”.